Wealth is measured in many ways. Some see it purely as the money you have while others may look at net worth or your overall quality of life. The same goes when measuring the wealth of countries. Some countries like Indonesia or China may dominate the world in gross domestic product but have very low wages and quality of life. The countries mentioned in this video are ranked according to the GDP per capita and overall average wages.
To put it simply, a country’s wealth should be measured by the totality of all goods and services, taking into account the country’s population. The list of the wealthiest countries in the world has slightly changed from last year due to the pandemic, with some countries facing a notable drop in their GDP per capita.
Autonomous regions and principalities like Monaco and Hong Kong are not mentioned in this video, so here are the 15 wealthiest countries in the world:
Germany has one of the largest economies in the world with a GDP of nearly 3.8 trillion dollars. It was ranked the third-largest exporter in the world in 2019 after China and the US, exporting more than 1.7 trillion dollars worth of goods that year. However, the country faces some demographic challenges to its economic growth. Its low fertility rate makes replacing its aging workforce more difficult, and its high levels of net immigration put strain on its social welfare system. With a population of around 83 million, its GDP per capita is about 46,000.
Finland is one of six countries in the Nordic region that rank in the top 15 when it comes to GDP per capita. The country is one of the most diverse export economies in the world. Its economy relies on metals and metal products, electronics, machinery, and scientific instruments. Finland’s relative prosperity is more evenly distributed among its residents. With a population of around 5.5 million, its GDP per capita is around 49,000. The country also has some of the best health outcomes as measured by life expectancy, maternal mortality, and infant mortality.
Austria is a gorgeous country, and tourism helps boost the country’s GDP. During the pandemic, its GDP per capita has slightly dropped, but the country encourages innovation to bolster its economy. Like several other countries that rank among the richest in the world, research and development accounts for a significant percentage of Austria’s GDP. According to the World Bank, the GDP per capita of the country is around 50,000. A great part of Austria’s prominence can be attributed to its geographic position. It is at the center of European traffic.
Sweden is another Nordic country with the GDP per capita among the highest in the world. The biggest contributors to its economy include iron and steel, precision equipment, processed food, and motor vehicles. With a population of 10.2 million, it boasts a GDP per capita of around 52,000. It also invests more in education as a share of its GDP than almost any other country in the world.
The Netherlands is almost tied with Sweden with an average ranking of 12, but it goes about it differently on its way to number 11 on our list. It relies on agro-industries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, and petroleum. With an average life expectancy of 81.6 years at birth, the Netherlands has among the best health outcomes in the world. It also ranks better than most countries in terms of infant and maternal mortality. It has a GDP per capita of approximately 52,000.
Australia relies heavily on exports of natural resources, particularly iron ore. It is the world’s leading exporter of the mineral, accounting for 52% of the world’s total supply. The GDP per capita of the country is around 55,000, which increased during the pandemic. This relative affluence allows 25.4 million Australians to live relatively long, healthy lives.
Like other Nordic countries, Denmark also gets high marks around the world for its social awareness and public welfare. The country also has an advanced economy that benefits from many diverse industries such as transportation equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment. The wealth in Denmark tends to be distributed relatively evenly among people, with a high GDP per capita of around 60,000 dollars.
Qatar’s GDP per capita has dropped significantly this year due to the pandemic and its political stability. Nevertheless, its GDP per capita is expected to rise once again this year as the country is restoring its diplomatic ties with Emirates and Saudi Arabia. While well known as a producer of oil and natural gas, Qatar also gets major contributions to its GDP from the cement, commercial ship repair, ammonia, and fertilizer industries. Currently, the country boasts a GDP per capita of $64,000.
Singapore has a diversified economy that benefits from the country’s location at the center of a major shipping route. At just 278 square miles, the country is one of the smallest in the list, but it’s known for a wide variety of things, from electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, and petroleum refining to biomedical products. With a GDP per capita of $65,000, it is one of the most business-friendly countries in the world. The country is also ranked as one of the safest countries to live in for expats.
6. United States
The United States fits the largest population on the list into the second-largest landmass. It has a highly diversified economy with the second-largest industrial output in the world. Unlike nearly every other nation to rank among the richest in the world, the United States does not rely heavily on exports. The United States’ GDP sits at the top of the world at $20.5 trillion. Average GDP per capita also rings in high at $66,000, putting it at number 6 in 2021.
Iceland’s GDP per capita is continuously on the rise due to its relatively low population and near-perfect rankings in water and sanitation and basic medical care. It is also a world leader in access to basic knowledge and personal rights, but it comes up short in access to advanced education. The country’s exports to more traditional industries such as fish processing, aluminum smelting, geothermal, and hydropower.
A prominent country in Scandinavia, Norway is gifted with both beauty and charm, not to mention a rich economy. Despite being one of the smaller countries in the world with a population of 5.3 million, Norway has one of the larger economies with a GDP of $342.8 billion. Norway gets its economic output from the shipping, fishing, aquaculture, food processing, and shipbuilding industries, in addition to petroleum and gas. Currently, the GDP per capita of the country is around $75,000. The country also has a high life expectancy of 83 years, more than a decade higher than the global average.
Ireland relies heavily on exports. Ireland’s top exports are chemicals like packaged medicaments. Its exports are actually worth more than its GDP, which is the case in only seven other countries. Ireland’s exports are worth nearly 20% more than its GDP of over $320 billion. The country also has one of the fastest-growing economies with a 7.2% annual increase in its GDP. With a population of almost 5 million people, the GDP per capita of the country is around $79,000. It is also ranked high in access to basic medical care, public welfare, and personal rights.
Switzerland boasts some of the highest wages in the world, putting its GDP per capita at $82,000, which plays a big role in it being the second wealthiest country in the world. Though Switzerland has a fairly diverse economy, gold makes up by far the largest share of its exports. About a quarter of the nation’s $285 billion in exports in 2019 was in gold. Despite being a relatively small country of less than 8.5 million people, Switzerland is one of the countries that controls a large share of the world’s gold. Plus, it boasts some of the world’s most advanced social markers, including access to welfares, social security, independent media, secondary school enrollment, and greenhouse gas emissions.
With a landmass of only 998 square miles, there’s plenty of money floating around in Luxembourg, which no doubt helped contribute to the nation’s estimated 1.95 population growth in 2019. Banking and financial services play a huge role in Luxembourg’s economy, and it claims the number one spot as the richest country in the world with a GDP per capita of $115,000. Thanks for watching. Be sure to subscribe for more amazing content.
In this in-depth overview, we’ve delved into the top 15 wealthiest countries across the globe, evaluating their GDP per capita and economic strengths. From industrial powerhouses like the United States and Germany to smaller nations like Luxembourg and Switzerland, these countries showcase the diversity of global wealth and economic prosperity. As we navigate an ever-changing economic landscape, understanding the factors that contribute to these rankings provides valuable insights into the dynamics of wealth on a global scale.